K rock Football

Eagles eager for Giant test

East Geelong coach Jeremy Power. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Darren Phillips)

WITH its goal of passing its total wins for 2018 already ticked off, East Geelong’s new focus is to beat an opponent above it as it pushes for an unlikely finals berth.

The Eagles host the inconsistent Geelong West at Richmond Crescent after handing Corio a 150-point hiding last week to not only square their win-loss ledger at five wins and five losses but also boost their percentage from 100.92% to 123.32%.

“It’s definitely an exciting game, for sure,” second-year coach Jeremy Power said. “It’s good to be in that conversation as potential finalists

“There’s still a long way to go, but we’re looking forward to that opportunity.

“We’ve slowly been building, but’s it’s a test we haven’t passed yet, beating a team above us.

“It’s another crack at doing that.”

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Power says belief is also building that East Geelong, which last appeared in finals in 2014, is no longer “a hit-and-miss team”.

Four of the Eagles’ five losses have all been by less than 30 points, including a 10-point defeat by reigning grand finalist in Round 9.

Their biggest loss came at the hands of raging premiership favourite Thomson by 75 points the week before that.

“We’ve done the hard yards, the foundation’s been built, and now it’s just continuing to build,” Power said.

“You can see the way the guys are carrying themselves throughout training and the mood.

“No one stresses if we have a bad session at training. Last year, that bothered us a bit. Now, it’s just water off a duck’s back, and we keep rolling through.

“That’s maturity, and the enjoyment of winning as well.”

Part of East Geelong’s resurgence can be attributed to the stability of the senior team.

The Eagles, who aren’t struggling for depth with their reserves sitting second on the ladder with only one loss, have used just 30 players for the season so far after 40 appeared at 2 o’clock across 2018.

“It’s been a big thing for us because when you’re chopping and changing, those little connections with players and how the ball comes out, sometimes that changes with different personnel,” Power said.

“But, because we’ve had that stable base, blokes can communicate with each other.

“For 3-4 weeks, the forward line’s been the same, so that message, instead of going to two or three players, it’s just the one going in.

“That stability’s been massive, for sure.”

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